This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in May 2013.
Never mind the store-bought stuff, next time you’re in the market to wrap a special gift, follow this quick tutorial and make the packaging extra pretty. I embraced a simple technique to give a friends’ gift a watercolor-esque flair, and you can do it too. Watercolors are classically beautiful and also refreshingly easy to employ in your DIY projects, and while I’ve never been able to master watercolor painting from a fine art aspect, I do like to embrace them given a creative and hard-to-mess-up opportunity. I’m feeling all sorts of love for shades of purple this spring, as if I’m reverting back to my childhood purple-loving self (the color on the far right? My mom let me paint my bedroom that color!), so that’s the color palette I chose for this project.
With just a few simple materials—an eyedropper, dye of your color choice, water, and matte-finish paper (kraft paper, or, as I use, tissue paper)—you can make your own watercolor-inspired wrapping for a special gift.
With the eyedropper, drip dye directly onto the matte (non-shiny) side of a sheet of tissue paper.
While the dye droplets are still raised, rinse out the eyedropper and re-drip water over every droplet. This will dilute the dye, and once dry, give each dot a watercolor effect.
Continue until all of the dye droplets are covered with water. Starting to see the cool effect?
Follow up immediately with an old absorbent rag (emphasis on the old, as you’re about to ruin it with dye), and lightly dab the raised droplets to absorb the excess water and dye. You’ll be left with a watercolor-esque pattern on the tissue paper, and a beautifully dyed towel (which itself would make cute gift wrap).
Once it’s dry, wrap your gift and tie it up with a bow. Use the right ribbon (or in my case, jute!) and consider dip-dyeing the ends to match. Happy gifting!